Assessing Recurrence Risk in Kidney Cancer

Cancer Connect

Researchers have identified genomic factors that are strongly associated with the risk of recurrence of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. This finding could ultimately lead to diagnostic tests that estimate risk of recurrence following surgery, which could aid in treatment decisions. Results from this study were presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The kidneys are each filled with tiny tubules that clean and filter the blood; this process removes waste and makes urine. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a malignancy involving these tubules of the kidney. Clear cell RCC (ccRCC) is the most common form of renal cell carcinoma. About eight out of 10 people with RCC have this kind of cancer.

Accurate prognostic methods can contribute to cancer treatment by identifying patients at high risk of recurrence; these patients are most likely to benefit from additional therapy following surgery.

To evaluate whether gene expression of ccRCC tumors is associated with prognosis following surgery, researchers evaluated 931 patients with Stage I-III. They focused primarily on recurrence-free interval (RFI), which they defined as the time from surgery to first recurrence or death due to RCC.

Findings indicated a strong correlation between gene expression and RFI. This association was comparable to that of currently-used prognostic markers for other cancers, such as those used in breast cancer.

Evidence of this significant association between genomic markers and risk of recurrence in ccRCC may contribute to the development of tests to predict recurrence risk among patients with early-stage disease and, ultimately, to individualize treatment.

References: Rini BI, Zhou M, Aydin H, et al. Identification of prognostic genomic markers in patients with localized clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. June 4-8, 2010. Chicago, IL. Abstract 4501.

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Renal Cancer